MONTREAL – Canada’s major telecom companies have been given the go-ahead by the Federal Court of Appeal to challenge part of the CRTC’s new wireless code of conduct that would affect three-year cellphone contracts retroactively as the industry moves to two-year contracts.
Rogers, Bell, Telus, SaskTel, Manitoba Telecom Services and others say the code would prematurely apply to three-year contracts signed before the new code comes into effect on Dec. 2.
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The telecom companies say under the code some customers, depending on when they signed three-year contracts, would be able to terminate them after two years without paying a cancellation fee.
The CRTC said has said its wireless code should apply to all contracts, no matter when they were entered into, by no later than June 3, 2015.
But the telecom companies says some three-year contracts were signed in the later half of 2012 and won’t expire until after the June 3 deadline, potentially leaving them on the hook for part of the subsidy for their smartphones, some of which can cost $700.
The appeals court hasn’t set a date to hear the matter in Toronto.